Following the recent investment of $1 billion for their second plant in India at Sanand, Gujarat – Ford Motor Company has plans to add another round of investment. This investment will focus on expanding their R&D in the country.
Ford has already said that there is a huge untapped engineering talent here in India. This next round of investment could see them work in this direction and strengthen their R&D in the region.
India being one of the fastest growing market, this new investment will result in Ford producing world class products with heavy localization content for car buyers in the country. One such car is B500 Project. This will be a completely new car, built on a completely new platform. Expected to debut by 2018, it will be a C segment sedan, which will compete with the likes of Honda City and Maruti Ciaz.
Considering that Ford already has a car in that segment – New Fiesta: it could be possible that the Fiesta will be discontinued once the B500 Project is launched.
Ford B500 Project will be the first project undertaken by Ford R&D Chennai Center. It is here that the project will be designed, developed and readied for production. Based on the same new B500 platform, Ford could also launch a seven seater MPV to rival the likes of Renault Lodgy and Toyota Innova.
These new investments are part of the Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign. Ford has not announced the development yet, but is expected to reveal later this year, reveals Economic Times. The investments will be made around their existing facility in Chennai. Ford is expected to sign agreement with Tamil Nadu government in the coming months.
Arial View of Ford’s Sanand Plant
Once completed, Ford R&D Chennai Center will be one of the company’s largest in the Asia Pacific region. This R&D Center is to be linked to Ford’s Global Product Development Ecosystem will allow the company to increase localization which in turn will considerably reduce cost of production.
Set to tap engineering talent in the country, products will be developed not only for the Indian market but also for global markets. This new Ford R&D Chennai Center is being planned following rival companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor India and Renault Nissan alliance which also have similar centers catering to the needs of local and global markets.